Iowa Supreme Court torpedos gay marriage ban

Here I discusssed the August 30, 2007 decision in which an Iowa trial court judge held that the state statute limiting civil marriage to man-woman couples violated the due process and equal protection rights of same-sex couples under the state constitution. It was a big victory, especially considering that Iowa is pretty much the quintessential “heartland” state, but the decision was largely symbolic since the judge stayed his ruling pending the outcome of an appeal to the state supreme court.

Today the Iowa Supreme Court issued its own ruling in Varnum v. Brien. The court held UNANIMOUSLY (7-0) that the statute in question violated the state constitution’s equal protection clause. All the documents you’d ever want on the case, including the 69-page opinion and a much shorter summary, are available here.

This isn’t California or Taxachussets or some other wild-eyed, drug-addled hippie state, folks. This is goddamn IOWA. And the decision was unanimous. By contrast, the recent California Supreme Court ruling was 4-3.

Naturally, “conservatives” are already calling for an amendment to the state constitution that would overrule today’s decision. Fortunately for gay folk, amending the Iowa Constitution takes serious  time. Any amendment likely  wouldn’t take effect  until 2012.

In the meantime, we can all sit back and enjoy the inevitable tsunami of argumentum ad Santorum wherein “conservatives” scream bloody murder about how this ruling paves the way for people marrying donkeys and ventriloquist dummies and shit.

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